This morning a starting field of 42 riders departed from Banff on the 2010 Tour Divide. Some are race veterans like our Mountain Turtle, but most have entered the race for the first time, with 19 states and 5 countries represented. For all, it's the beginning of a great adventure.
About 12 hours into the race, 26 of the riders are through the first checkpoint at Elkford, 114 miles into the course. The first rider through was Kevin Dean of California, followed closely by Banff rider Robin Borstmayer, off to a great start in her own back yard, and (no surprise) Matthew Lee. Kent is about 28 miles out, plodding along at a steady turtle pace, averaging 7.2 mph over this challenging section of Canadian wilderness. I don't expect him to be calling in tonight; coverage is uncertain and he needs to be riding, not stopping to chat. But my guess is that he is enjoying the ride through this (for him) new territory, and hoping to make that first checkpoint before calling it a day, though there's no way to know if that will actually happen. It is a very long race, and if riding true to form Kent will get stronger as it progresses.
Our son Eric, looking way ahead, noted that Pie Town appears to be closed earlier in the week this year than in 2005, and commented "We should let him know, he'll be extra motivated to go fast if he thinks he might miss out on pie!"